THE DANCING ENGLISH STORY
Dancing English creator Daniel Griffin has something of a split personality. Sometimes called “the Max Weinberg of Spain” due to his drumming with Spanish mega-stars Fito y Fitipaldis, he is also Spain´s #1 children´s performer in English. The high-energy sound of Dancing English has its roots in this unorthodox resumé, which also includes classroom teaching experience and writing songs for dozens of English-teaching textbooks.
When Daniel first started performing school concerts years ago, two things became clear. First, primary students want fun music they can move to, not easy-listening songs written for little kids. And second, teachers want lyrics that are specifically designed to teach English language skills. So he set about writing the songs that would eventually become Dancing English: fun, rocking songs with real-world lyrics that kids enjoy….and teachers can actually use.
Says Daniel, “Older kids want to move and have fun! There´s no difference between the energy needed when I drum for 20,000 rocking adults, and the energy needed to get hundreds of kids singing and dancing. It´s that spirit I most love to capture with Dancing English. I try to harness that super-charged energy and put it behind lyrics that really help kids learn English, along with meaningful movements that support those lyrics and totally involve them in the songs.”
This use of meaningful movement was a key discovery. Daniel noticed that in children´s music, physical movements were usually added on as an afterthought, rather than thoughtfully created while a song is being written. But from the moment Daniel sits down to compose, Dancing English songs are written to be accompanied by meaningful movement 100% of the time. That´s why every line of every song has a meaningful action, one that supports the lyric and gives useful clues about a song´s meaning. It´s what makes Dancing English a whole-body experience.
Finally, Daniel teamed up with some of southern Europe´s finest musicians, including Grammy-nominated producer Jose Nortes, to make albums that sound like the radio. Oxford author Nina Lauder joined in to create worksheets and written materials, the ever-creative Jack El Diseñador contributed his awesome design work, Juan Cook worked his sounds effects magic….and that´s the story of Dancing English.